Beauty, product review, Promotional

Back to Basics Skincare


Everyone’s skincare routine needs a boost once winter weather sets in. This summer, I fell in love with a new, all-natural line called Back to Basics Skincare. Using some of the world’s most organic, active ingredients, Back to Basics offers a unisex trio of oils that target different skincare needs, and are designed to fit into anyone’s unique routine.

Founder Manon Von Csiky-Sessoms set out to craft these natural formulas after struggling with her own skin. Once finding that pure vitamin E relieved her hyperpigmentation more effectively than any of the high-end products she’d tried, Manon wondered if simple, organic ingredients might be the answer to most skincare woes. In the comfort of her own kitchen, Manon got to work and proved herself right. Whereas a lot of products mask issues with chemicals, Back to Basics Skincare seeks to help skin from the inside out.

The first oil Manon created is my favorite, and a total must-have this winter: the Avocado Repairing Oil is a rich yet non-greasy remedy for damaged or super dry skin. Made with eczema in mind, the soothing Repairing Oil works wonders on dry patches and skin that’s raw from sun exposure, cold temperatures, or those moments when you’ve gone a little overboard attacking your blemishes. I like to put a few drops onto an exfoliating cotton pad and use the oil to gently buff away dead, flaky skin. Using this oil to heal damaged skin can also help prevent pesky scars and dark marks. The best part is that a little bit goes a long way, and it won’t clog your pores.

The Rose Hip Radiance Oil helps brighten your complexion and even skin tone. I had a few faint but stubborn scars from a nasty brush with dermatitis last winter, and I noticed significant improvement within the first week of adding the Radiance Oil to my everyday moisturizer. A few months later, those marks have completely disappeared.

For me, the best way to balance my skin is to use a water-based moisturizer and control over the amount of oil I apply to my face. Back to Basics’ third oil is the Macadamia Nut Hydrating Oil, which gives my moisturizer the perfect extra boost of hydration I need on cold, brisk days. When I’m wearing minimal or no makeup, I like to pat some of this oil onto my skin for a natural, dewy glow.

Any or all of these formulas would make great holiday gifts or stocking stuffers for everyone on your list—they can even be used as moisturizing beard oils! Plus, not only are they affordable, but Back to Basics Skincare products also come in sleek, minimal packaging that will look elegant and luxurious on anyone’s vanity or bathroom counter. To sweeten the deal even more, Fashion Saucers can get a special discount by using the code ‘STAYSAUCY‘ when placing an order with www.backtobasicsskin.com. Get back to basics, get shopping, and get the best skin of your life!

 

 

 

 

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Advice, Beauty, Boston, Fashion, fashion theory, Feminism, Humor

Ten Ways You’re Approaching Personal Style All Wrong

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Despite how much time I spend I dissecting outfits and breaking down ways to properly achieve certain styles, the fact remains that fashion ultimately has no rules. That’s just how art functions. It is, however, completely possible to approach personal style (which includes your beauty routine) with a bad attitude or misconceptions, and this can negatively impact a lot more than just your look. Here are ten mistakes you might want to reconsider:

1. You think having the latest trends is a foolproof way to look fabulous: So very, very wrong. Sure, it’s great to look current and in-style, but not every hot new trend is going to fit into your look organically or flatter your figure. Dressing well and having a strong sense of style are a matter of identifying and staying true to your taste, and dressing for your unique body. With that said, even catering to your body type is mostly a matter of confidence. Basically, wear what you love, not what magazines say you should love or what everyone else is wearing on Instagram. Besides, trends are usually fleeting, and blending in is often boring. Sometimes it’s best to feel out a trend’s longevity and see if you actually love the look before you drop cash on it.

2. You pile on too many trends at once: Slow down there, buddy. We get it: you’re cool. Except you don’t look cool—you look like you’re trying too hard (you are), and quite possibly look a little insane. Avoid a lifetime of unfortunate photos and keep your trends and statement pieces per outfit to a minimum. There are 365 whole days in a year to do each trend justice, so do that.

3. You have a “that’s so last season” state of mind: Whether you’re thrusting this concept unto yourself or others around you, it’s silly. We all love having cool new things, but newness shouldn’t define the value of everything in your wardrobe. What are you going to do? Throw everything away at the end of each season? Since fashion repeats itself, just like every aspect of history, I feel justified in hoarding clothes I’ve had since high school (maybe even middle school)…Fuck anyone who wants to make you feel inferior for wearing something that isn’t fresh off the runway. If you ask me, the most stylish people know how to repeatedly find fun and fresh ways to wear what’s already in their closet. If you’re concerned about having a passé wardrobe, then I yet again discourage you from investing in a lot of hyper-trendy pieces. Instead, splurge on versatile classics with a twist that you can see yourself wearing often and for various settings/occasions. And if you’re honestly so obsessed with having nothing but “the latest,” you’re using fashion as a status symbol, and it probably stems from greater insecurities. You might even polarize others with this snobbish outlook on style. What are you trying to prove? Perhaps pause to consider real therapy over retail…

4. You’re dressing for someone else: NO!!! Whether it’s for a crush or significant other, your parents, or friends you’re trying to impress, your wardrobe should never be the product of someone else’s ideal version of you. Your style is yours to define. There is a time and place to adhere to a dress code (like your place of work), and it’s one thing to occasionally adjust your look for special circumstances (my grandmother’s independent living facility is waging a war against shorts), or to sport your S.O.’s favorite color as a romantic gesture; but if you’re constantly adjusting or straight-up hiding your true personal style (read: YOUR IDENTITY) to appease others, that’s not healthy. We all want approval, but at what cost? Your appearances can be a huge factor in self-expression, and stifling your style to make others happy won’t make you happy in the long run. Ditch or stand up to the people who want to change you, and learn to impress people by staying true to yourself. (Quick question: does anyone else always feel incredibly sorry for the people who wind up on What Not to Wear? Like, let them live!)

5. You secretly want to change your look or try something new, but you’re afraid that people will react negatively or that you can’t “pull it off”: I understand that this can be a career-related issue for some folks, but let’s pretend that’s not part of the equation. Come on out of the fashion closet, and come out wearing what you want! Taking fashion and beauty risks can be scary, but also extremely liberating and fun. If you can’t think of a single person in your life who wouldn’t judge you if you altered your appearance or experimented with your style, then there’s your real problem. Since that’s probably not the case, life is short, so you should shed your insecurities and take the plunge. If you’re just not sure how to go about it, that’s what friends, social media, and professionals are for. Talk to your fashion-loving friends, look to Instagram for inspiration, and seek the knowledge of experts. High-end retail sales associates (I mean, you probably shouldn’t go Old Navy to inquire about the art of wearing drop-crotch pants), professional hair stylists and makeup artists are always ready and waiting to help, so take advantage of their advice. Just because executing a certain style doesn’t come naturally to you doesn’t mean you can’t do it. If you’re really nervous about debuting a new look, take it for a spin with someone you trust, because I have news: “pulling it off” is almost entirely about wearing your clothes with confidence. If you loved the idea of a particular style but feel painfully awkward sporting it in public, people can probably sense your discomfort, and you’re probably not pulling it off. Wearing something you think is cool should make you feel cool. It’s that simple. If dramatically changing your look is a gender-related, or generally deeper identity issue, I realize that you’re facing something more complex; however, I still think opening up to someone you can trust is the first step. If you’re not ready to show the world who you are, try talking about it.

6. You think fashion is cool and want to elevate your style, but you’re worried people will view this change as a sign of superficiality: Look, fashion has no policy on newcomers. Unless all you do is stare in the mirror, take selfies and obsess over your outfits (lol), then it’s unlikely people will react negatively to your newfound appreciation for style. If someone does suggest that you’re shallow for upgrading your look, know that their attitude is a result of their own personal issues, and don’t make choices based on their passive-aggressive insecurities. Think of stepping up your style game as starting a new diet or getting into fitness—as long as you genuinely aren’t high and mighty about it and don’t attempt to impose your style unto others, odds are that people will be either supremely supportive or won’t care either way. There’s no shame in taking pride in your appearances!

7. You immediately cast off people who love fashion as being superficial: Haven’t you heard that old saying about what happens when you assume? Fashion isn’t for everyone, but consider the irony of this attitude. The idea that fashion and intellect are mutually exclusive is more outdated than shoulder pads, and the implication that you can somehow estimate whether or not a person is grounded based on their outfit proves you’re pretty superficial, yourself. There’s only one way to get to know someone. Wait for it…You have to actually get to know them. I’m not sure why you’re under the impression that loving fashion is any different from loving any art form (all of which involve vanity to some degree), but you need to get over yourself, quickly. No one is asking you to give a shit about Fashion Month, but we will ask that you not presume those of us who do are lesser beings. Congratulations on not caring about your outfit. If it’s really the inside that counts, well, you still kind of suck.

8. You love fashion, but you use it as a vehicle to be negative or exclusive towards others: I loved watching Joan Rivers roast people’s outfits as much as the next guy. You are not Joan Rivers. Whether you’re online or out with friends, if you’re channelling a lot of your passion for fashion towards mocking other people’s outfit choices, or even worse, body shaming, you need to realize that you aren’t being funny, you’re being toxic, and furthermore, you’re completely missing the point of personal style. It’s 2016. Fashion is an artistic form of self-expression that belongs to anyone who wants to participate, and it’s not your place to make people feel shitty about how they do so, or who they are. Because that’s the thing. Style and body image are an extension of people’s personalities, so it’s time to take a break from judging others and take a closer look at yourself, beyond the mirror. Ask yourself why you’re so compelled to criticize, as it’s definitely part of a larger problem, and your negativity won’t make you popular in the long run. Consider keeping those nasty insults to yourself, and learn to take pleasure in complimenting and celebrating styles you do admire instead of hurting others to make yourself feel superior.

9. You obsess over size: Literally every brand cuts clothing differently these days. It’s almost impossible that you’ll be the same size across the board, so you may sometimes have to take a different size than expected, and this might make you feel self-conscious. Even some individual brands have inconsistent sizing within singular collections, so try not to take sizing so personally. If you’re forcing yourself into clothes that don’t fit properly because you can’t get past the little numbers or letters on the size label inside, you’re ultimately just making yourself feel (and probably look) uncomfortable for no good reason, and to no one’s benefit. No one is going to reach inside your clothing and announce your dress size to the world. Please love yourself enough to purchase clothes in the sizes that make you physically look and feel your best. Much like those on the scale, you can’t let the numbers on a size tag define you. If there is someone in your life who is policing what size you take and making you feel bad about your body, that’s not ok. You need to do yourself a favor and take steps towards correcting that dynamic, or cut off the relationship entirely.

10. You don’t know how to shop, you hate everything you buy, so you’ve thrown in the towel: If I’ve learned anything from my time working in retail, it’s that most people find shopping overwhelming and style to be intimidating. You have no strategy, and without appropriate intervention, this can lead to bad habits, like buying a lot of clothes without actually trying stuff on, making a lot of online purchases from brands or retailers you’re not familiar with, and just constantly buying stuff that you later realize you don’t actually want or need. I’ve found that many people who struggle to shop effectively ultimately resolve to convincing themselves that since clothes don’t *really* matter, it’s easier just to stop caring and live life in outfits that miss the mark. Though shopping can seem like an impossible chore, if style is something you’d like to possess, there really are solutions. For starters, start scouring social media for images of looks you identify with and consider #goals to get a better idea of what you might like to achieve going forward. Tap your most fashionable friend(s) and ask if they’ll accompany you on your next shopping venture, and stop blowing off sales associates who genuinely want to help. Open up to these people about what it is you need and why you’ve been struggling, and learn to embrace their honest opinions—and while you should allow these people to push you outside your comfort zone to try garments that might seem strange on the hanger, you also shouldn’t be afraid to say no if friends or stylists suggest something that just doesn’t feel right. Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for a special occasion, and if styling yourself doesn’t come naturally, don’t go shopping when you have very little time to spare. Give yourself a solid few hours to find things you love instead of settling or leaving empty-handed. Slowly but surely, you and your fashion advocates will zero in on your true personal style, and you’ll start to build a wardrobe that makes you feel fabulous. As for online shopping, this is for advanced shoppers who are super in touch with the styles and brands that suit them best, and who’ve become familiar enough with certain online retailers to choose the right sizes without trying items on. I’m sorry, but you’re just not there yet. Baby steps!

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If you’re in the Boston area and need help shopping for a special occasion (wedding, graduation, concert/festival, job interview, etc.), I offer freelance styling services! Contact me (Annie Goldman) at anniesfashionsauce@gmail.com for more info.

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Beauty, Boston, Fashion

All Black Everything

I have two pieces of exciting news. 1) I decided to chop my hair into a lob (slightly longer than a bob), and 2) I got a new job! I’m now working as a a sales professional for French sister brands Sandro & Maje at their concession stores in the Women’s Contemporary department of Bloomingdale’s in Newton, Mass. If you know me or follow the Sauce remotely closely, you know that I’ve been a huge Sandro & Maje fan for a few years now (I actually discovered their stuff while working for a different company at the same Bloomingdale’s location), and it really is so much fun to be able to work with clothing I connect with so deeply in terms of my personal style, and help others style it to their own taste. The thing is, I need my readers to understand that, although I do do some representative work for various brands and companies here on the blog, that is NOT my relationship with Sandro & Maje. While I may wear and write about their merchandise, the views expressed on this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the company’s management, and so from now on, whenever one of my outfit posts features Sandro and/or Maje merchandise, you’ll see that disclaimer at the bottom of the post, right before the photo credits.

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DSC_0095“Vintage” Piazza Sempione blazer, Maje ‘Pigou’ velvet pants, Theory turtleneck, Sandro creepers, Stella & Dot necklace, Oliver Peoples sunglasses.

One of my favorite things about working at Bloomingdale’s is that employees have to wear all black, and while a lot of people think this must get boring, on days that I’m in a hurry, it’s actually an easy way to get dressed and ensure that I look chic without too much thought; and on days when I feel like making a little more effort, the all-black wardrobe requirement presents an opportunity for me to stretch my creativity as a stylist. Going for a menswear-as-womenswear look is a cool and edgy approach to wearing all black. Here, I put my own spin on this style with a blazer that’s cut a little longer than most (thanks, Mom!), velvet trousers, and my beloved creepers. Velvet is so luxe and beautiful, and I think creepers are one of the most delightfully androgynous trends. To make my gender-bending outfit as sleek as possible, I stick with simple silver jewelry and pull my hair into a side-parted pony. Someone on Instagram pointed out that this whole look is reminiscent of Karl Lagerfeld’s signature style, but I swear I’ve been dressing this way since long before I dyed my hair gray. That being said, I certainly don’t mind the comparison one bit.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Fashion

Culottes

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DSC_0778LNA cropped sweater, Zara culotte pants, Sandro coat & handbag, Jeffrey Campbell ‘Stoppard’ shoes.

Culottes are definitely a sightly odd silhouette, and while embracing something strange is often the key to great style, don’t hop into this trend blindly. Doing your culottes justice is all about staying sleek: for fall/winter, go for a neutral color palette and some menswear-inspired pieces with sharp, clean lines for a crisp, confident look.

You may have noticed that I’ve gone gray! As much as I adored my purple hair, the pigment wasn’t holding well, so to avoid the damage of constant touch-ups, I decided to switch things up and see how I’d look as a premature silver fox. So far, I’m absolutely loving it. The shade lends itself extremely well to a minimalist aesthetic, and perhaps even more than the color, I’m totally obsessed with my new, more tousled cut, which was executed with a razor rather than scissors. My new ‘do was inspired by some of the models who strut their stuff alongside my idol, Lady Gaga, in this amazing Tom Ford Spring/Summer 2016 promotional music video.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Culture, Fashion

Fall Classic: Parisian Inspiration

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DSC_0395American Apparel spandex turtleneck, Rag & Bone pants, Sandro coat & bag, Jeffrey Campbell ‘Stoppard’ shoes, Oliver People’s sunglasses.

I shot this look, one of a few fall ensembles that I wear in constant rotation, just days before the attacks in Paris and Beruit that have shaken the world. Whenever I shoot an outfit, I start thinking about what I’d like to say about it here on the Sauce, and how I can best explain my process behind the styling to effectively help my readers understand how they might translate elements of my style into their own. As I posed in my cigarette pants and striped fitted turtleneck, I knew I’d write about how classic Parisian style inspired one of my favorite fall outfit combinations. I would hate to seem like I’m trying to capitalize on a tragedy (believe me, an ex-boyfriend tried to use the Boston Marathon bombings to “reconnect”), so I took pause after the attacks to think about how I might discuss this outfit without mention of Paris; but then I decided that to put a hold on declaring Paris’s impact on my style would be to patronize Paris and to give into its attackers, which I simply won’t do. So, let’s celebrate the City of Light, and consider this post my humble tribute to Paris and all of its contributions to the world of fashion.

Though I haven’t had the privilege of visiting Paris, as a lover of fashion and all of the arts, it still manages to enchant me and hold a place in my heart. Being so passionate about their art in every medium possible, and perhaps equally passionate about their cheese, I feel like I owe France so much of the joy in my life. Plus, apart from allegedly being some of the most alive and creative people on this earth, Parisians are devastatingly stylish, and I spend a sickening amount of time pouring over Parisian street style snaps to elevate my own look.

I think what makes Parisian style so special is how Parisian women manage to dress in such a way that can come across as chic, sexy, sophisticated, professional, fun, and relaxed, all at once. It sounds impossible, but the classic French combination of a cigarette pant and striped top is a fool-proof way to cover all those bases. Take the look to the next level by contrasting some menswear-inspired pieces with an exaggerated side-part and rosy lips.

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Beauty, Fashion

Rock the Crop

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DSC_0429Necklaces: Kendra Scott ‘Elisa’ Silver Necklace in Iridescent Drusy (upper), Stella & Dot ‘Rebel Pendant’ in silver (lower).

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DSC_0506 (1)Silence & Noise crop top, AllSaints leather jacket, Milau maxi skirt, Primark boots, Oliver Peoples sunglasses.

My motto is, crop tops forever, whatever the weather. Until an actual blizzard strikes, nothing comes between me and not putting anything between my midriff and the open air. Going for a rock n’ roll vibe with leather, metal embellishments, and a bold red lip will help your crop tops look a little more sensible throughout the fall season.

Photos by Miranda Mu

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Beauty, Fashion

Fall into the ’70s

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DSC_0135 (1)Sandro sweatshirt over Theory turtleneck, pants from Intermix, Furla ‘Metropolis’ cross body bag in silver, Tod’s boots, sunglasses by See Eyewear.

This fall an excellent time to take sartorial cues from the ’70s. Flared pants are back with a vengeance, and turtlenecks are one of the chicest ways to stay warm. Add some vibrant color, some metallics, and massive sunglasses for the full retro effect. A more muted lip color will keep your ’70s-inspired outfit looking current rather than costume-y. I’m partial to Lime Crime liquid-to-matte Velvetine lip color in ‘Bleached.’

Photos by Miranda Mu

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